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an application programming interface (API) specifies how software components interact with each other. this interaction is often in the form of web services. integrating with an API makes it possible to retrieve data that is up-to-date and maintained in one place.

some of the services listed here require registration to access. this may be because they wish to limit the number of requests, or that there are particular licensing terms. please pay attention to the licensing for each particular service. licensing will not be detailed here as it may be subject to change.

bibliographic data

services providing bibliographic data.

open library

one web page for every book. open library exposes an API to gain access to all their book data in various formats.

JSON

example usage

used by koha

 website

OCLC worldcat search

provides catalogue search facilities across all participating libraries (worldwide). also search for libraries by location.

XML JSON

example usage

bookmark your library

 website

librarything

three services provided: thingISBN, thingTitle and thingLang. a web services API also provides full developer access to librarything data.

XML

 website

google books family

API to integrate with google data on books. includes searching via title and retrieving ISBN, eBooks, and cover images.

JSON

example usage

worldcat search API

 website

comic vine

full access to comic wiki content via an API.

JSON XML

 website

other collections

APIs exposing data about other collections.

new york public library digital collections API

significant portions of the Library's digitized collections are available as machine-readable data: over one million objects and records for you to search, crawl and compute.

JSON XML

 website

internet archive

the internet archive provides an advanced search for web archives, video, texts, and software.

XML RSS JSON

 website

european library API

data describing the collections and catalogues of national and research libraries in 48 countries.

XML JSON

 website

europeana

an interface giving full and searchable remote access to all of the europeana collection data.

JSON

 website

copac

search over 70 UK and Irish academic national & specialist library catalogues

XML

 website

cambridge university library APIs

web service interfaces for the library catalogues and other online library services.

XML JSON

 website

library data

APIs dealing with data about libraries.

culture grid

provides UK library listings, searchable by location, authority, region. also lists associated collections in libraries and museums.

XML JSON

example usage

find a library

 website

national

services that provide national specific collection data.

trove

programmatic access to the metadata and some full text. holds over 400 million books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives from the national library of Australia.

JSON XML

 website

digital public library of america API codex

API (and documentation) for digital public library of america data.

JSON

 website

british national bibliography

the british national bibliography published as open data, and available to query as a SPARQL endpoint.

RDF XML JSON HTML

 website

addresses and mapping

not library related but useful in many projects, address data can be hard to find that isn't restricted.

postcodes.io

postcode and geolocation API for the UK. free, open source, and based solely on open data.

JSON

 website

open addresses

a crowd-sourced open address uk database compiling free address information and submitted data.

JSON

 website

nominatim

a geocoding (and reverse geocoding) API using open street map data.

JSON

 website

google places

useful for looking up places (towns, cities, wards, authorities) and returning geo-location data.

JSON

 website